rubykatewriting: (Teen Wolf: Derek & Stiles Phone)
[personal profile] rubykatewriting
Author: [livejournal.com profile] rubykatewriting
Title: The Strong Scent of Evergreen
Pairing: Derek/Girl!Stiles
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Derek and Stiles start something new. "I am, you know," she whispers against his mouth, and he tilts his head in question. "Yours."
Spoilers/Warnings: Can be found here.
Notes: Title comes from the song "Passenger Seat" by Death Cab for Cutie.
Disclaimer: Not mine. So not mine. No harm intended.



It really is amazing that she and Derek didn't meet face-to-face sooner; she has spent so many long hours in these woods. She had always felt at ease here, and she still does. No matter what has happened here, what she's seen and done, this is the place where she and Scott played hide and seek for hours. It's where her mom would bring her since before she can even remember; there are photos of her at three, bundled up, her mom's bright face next to hers, and Stiles knows that on the other side of the camera was her father. These woods became such a huge part of her family when they moved here; it's one of the few things that her father will talk about without that broken down look shadowing his eyes.

Maybe that's why she feels a connection with him despite his whole be-asshole-now-ask-questions-later mentality. He didn't just lose his mother; he's lost every member of his family. Just the idea of losing her dad makes her stomach cramp and her heart sort of stutter inside her chest. He's seen it happen and survived it. Even worse, he then had to kill his uncle for murdering his sister; never mind getting stuck with a Scott and a Stiles and a whole pack of hunters.

She stares at Derek's back as he leads the way through the last clearing before the Hale house. Once again, he is the big fat question mark in her life. Before it was a big fat scary question mark, one that held all the elusive answers and gave them out like Ebenezer before the ghosts started lining up to visit. Now he's the big fat question mark that kisses her and makes out with her, gives her orgasms willingly, and what she wouldn't give for some clarity. She's kind of done with the whole mysterious werewolf crap. Two seconds ago, she was the bane of his existence, only slightly below Scott on the list of annoyances cluttering his life. That they were forced together so often only compounded the problem; she annoyed him and yet she was his only chance at staying out of jail. Sometimes it felt like the only thing protecting her from Derek taking out his frustrations on her was the simple fact she was a girl.

Now he truly is always around. She can't remember seeing him or being around him as much even when she was harboring him. She's gone from the girl who seemed to live a weird existence in which she was neither girl nor boy to one who can't seem to get a disagreeable werewolf to leave her bed long enough to sleep (and sometimes even then, he just pulls her close and drifts off). She has more hickeys than she can count, and she may have permanent beard burn on her neck, but she can't seem to care, especially when it means she gets to spend hours kissing that mouth of his.

Contrary to what she knows is popular belief, she is not completely inexperienced. There was a boy, a friend of her cousin's back in New Jersey, but she's never actually dated anyone and her virginity is still firmly intact. More often than not she finds herself worrying about the differences in their experience. Worse – somehow and she really hates her brain sometimes – is that Derek doesn't pressure her. When she grabs a wandering hand, he growls but always concedes the territory. It's her body that's turned against her. If she thought wanting him before was bad, knowing his taste and the way his hands feel on her skin as he pulls her closer is like the sweetest torture; or the way he can breathe just so and it's like a sigh, and his eyes meet hers with a look that seems to burrow inside her chest, right next to her heart.

Unsurprising is how easy it's been to keep their whatever-this-is secret. Scott's obliviousness when it comes to things that are not Allison or first line or anything that would completely wreck what he perceives to be the natural world order all allow for lots of alone time with Derek Hale. Stiles used to have this love-hate thing for her dad's position as sheriff. Sure, she knew basically everything before anyone else did, but it also meant many nights spent eating alone in the kitchen, long hours of silence in the house. Now she's got company more often than not, and even if she did wish her father could fit in there somewhere too, for the time being it isn't so bad.

The Hale house rears up in front of them. Winter in the forest seems to mesh well with the broken emptiness that pervades the house; it isn't until the vibrancy of spring and the lushness of summer that it becomes painfully obvious what has happened here. It may feel ragged and derelict but one could maybe chalk it up to forgetfulness, as if the family has gone and simply forgotten to return. She hated coming here, hated the sense of foreboding that seeped in through her skin. Now she sags with relief at the sight of it, exhaustion weighting her down, and it's all she can do to make it those last few hundred yards.

Derek's gotten it into his head that she needs to learn defensive measures, which seems weird considering her part in the whole Peter thing, but she also agrees with him. She likes being alive, prefers it to death or life as a werewolf, and survival skills are sort of intrinsic to preventing both for as long as humanly possible. It also gives her an excuse for alone time with Derek outside of her bedroom and car, the kind even Scott can't question if he were to finally pull his head out of his ass. Even though she knows she is clearly more involved than Derek is, knows as surely as she is breathing that he will never feel the same about her as she feels for him, she can’t help but need to soak up every last bit of him while she has the chance.

"Keep up, Stilinski," Derek calls.

"I hate you, Hale," she mutters at him.

"Wouldn’t it be great if that were true."

She can hear the smirk in his voice, and she shoots him the dirtiest glare she can manage. It's all she can do to place one foot in front of the other after today’s "training session." The focus has been mostly about working around her very obvious disadvantage as a human. A werewolf's tracking ability and physicality makes her a sitting duck, but Derek has been showing her ways to throw one off her scent at least long enough to (hopefully) get help. However, it quickly turned into a game of tag with her as "it," Derek as pursuer, and tackling the result. Every time.

The only thing that makes up for the number of times she ended up on her back in a decidedly not-fun way is that in reparation, Derek turned the last tackle into a kiss that still has her tingling. Mud is streaked up and down her jeans (she's positive some of it has gotten into her underwear), her ass is smarting, and her back twinges when she turns a certain way; yet she can’t muster up much ire because of that kiss.

Just as she spies Mrs. McCall's car parked behind Derek's, something jabs into the heel of her left foot. Holy shit, when did a boulder get inside of her boot? Fucking Derek and his need to make every tackle as real as possible. She stops abruptly, glowering at his back again, pain is lightning up the back of her calf. She can't even bite back the yelp of agony as she tries to hobble to the nearest tree.

Derek is suddenly her shadow, looming over her, and he grabs her elbow to steady her.

"Something in my boot," Stiles groans, holding her foot up and yanking the laces loose. "You stay," she orders, shaking off his hand and placing hers on his shoulder for balance, and after a seconds pause, she adds, "Good boy."

"Funny."

"I am nothing if not the comedic glue that holds this whole enterprise together," she grunts, yanking the boot off her foot. She upends it, shaking, until the world's tiniest damn pebble drops softly into the leaves, and really, that’s just wrong after all that pain. "Bastard."

"You really are strange."

"You say that like it’s a bad thing." Stiles shakes her head at him. "I am never boring."

"As many times as I’ve had to save your ass, no."

"Hey, I’ve saved your ass too."

"I am fully aware of that," he agrees, eyebrows shooting up, mocking, "no matter how unwilling you were."

She winces. "I still feel really terrible about that. I do." Then she smacks him. "And hey, Mr. Sour Wolf, it’s not like you were the endearing, cuddly werewolf you still really aren’t today. You were scary and mean and you threatened to tear my throat out." She levels him with a stare. "With your teeth."

He has the nerve to simply roll his eyes, but he grabs her hand as they start walking again. That’s when she notices Scott, up on the porch of the Hale house, watching them with this dawning look of understanding. His eyes go from their joined hands, up to the obvious bit of beard burn on her throat, and finally settling on her mouth, and then she realizes the collar of her sweater has slipped to one side, revealing two hickeys. Derek tugs it back in place with this free hand, covering them, and holds on as he stares down Scott. It is her first werewolf-pissing contest, at least where she is the one being metaphorically pissed on. The thought makes her shudder, but she just stands there and tries to wait it out, flushing the entire time because she can see Scott's nose working, can tell he is trying to scent her.

"Scott –"

Derek growls at her, eyes a violent red, and she closes her mouth, gritting her teeth.

"You asshole," Scott grates out, his eyes flashing at Derek, and just whoa. It's not like she's being taken advantage of here. "Have you clai –"

Thankfully Lydia's car comes to a screeching halt dangerously close to Derek's, obnoxious dance-pop blasting, and that's enough of a distraction to put an end to the staring contest. Stiles swats at Derek's hand but he ignores it, pushing her into the nearest tree trunk, out of sight of the house. For a second, she opens her mouth to say, "not the time," but then she looks at his face.

"You're pack, Stiles." He’s breathing heavy, loud, and his anger is almost a living, breathing thing between them. "You may not be werewolf, but you are in my pack. That means I'm your Alpha too. Don't ever try to get between me and one of my betas again. I don't care that Scott is your best friend. In moments like that, you cannot interfere. You will get hurt and then I will have to kill whichever idiot did it."

Stiles stares at him a long moment; there's something she’s missing here. Her brain feels about five steps back, and she hates that feeling, despises not knowing. Why would he kill either of his betas if she were stupid enough to get in the middle of two werewolves? What was Scott going to say before? Seriously, she hates feeling out of the loop.

"Hold on, what?" She looks at him incredulously. "Why would you kill –"

His eyes flash red. "Just nod that you understand what I’m telling you, Stiles."

Okay, she's kind of done with these major overreactions now but nods. He holds her gaze, as if to make sure she isn't just doing what he wants her to do before scampering off to do exactly the opposite. Which makes her smile slightly, despite the gravity of the moment, because he really is good at reading her.

Mollified for now, he leans close, scenting her, and then tongues the hickey that always glares at her as she’s getting ready for bed at night, a bold purple at the curve of her shoulder. She turns her face, and he kisses her, a warm press of lips goodbye.

"I'll see you tonight," and then he's gone, a dark blur of movement.

She leans against the tree, watching where he went. Part of her wants to buck against getting lumped in with Scott and Jackson, but then is she really? That's what keeps niggling at the back of her brain. Derek has spent a great deal of time and patience training his betas, and to so carelessly talk of taking them out, as if there are two alternates just waiting in the wings, makes absolutely no sense.

-

She's on the road when Scott calls, and she hesitates, wondering if she really wants to do this on her way home when she still has to face making dinner. In her head, she can already hear his voice, all pinched and slightly out of breath like some strange, leftover speech impediment from his asthma days, listing off all the reasons she shouldn't be doing this with Derek. She's not even sure WHAT she's doing with Derek yet, but she knows it will only get worse if she lets the call go to voicemail. The longer he's left to stew on something, the more obnoxious he gets.

"What?"

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME, STILES?"

"Don't yell at me, Scott."

He makes some weird grunting noise, and she can all but see his face all screwed up in a mixture of frustration and anger. "He’s DEREK."

"I'm well aware who he is. It's not like I haven't spent a great majority of the last few months forced into his company." She turns onto her street and lets out an internal sigh of relief that her father's patrol car isn't there. "I seem to recall that happening a lot. At your insistence."

"I didn't expect it to lead to – to – UGH. I can't even say it."

"I really don't care what you can or cannot say. It's none of your damn business."

"He's my Alpha. You're my best friend. My human best friend." The way his voice goes soft at the end – no, she's not going to let him talk her out of this. He's been pursuing Allison against all better judgment, putting his mom, Stiles, Derek, and her father at risk, and whatever she and Derek are or may become isn't hurting anyone.

She bumps up the driveway and pulls to a stop in front of the garage, killing the engine. For a moment she just listens to him breathing and lets her head fall forward against the steering wheel. "Scott, are you expecting me to choose here? You or him?"

"I – I don't want you hurt, Stiles."

"You've tried to kill me how many times since you were bitten?"

"That's not the kind of hurt I'm talking about."

"I’m a big girl, Scott.”

“He’s experienced, Stiles.”

“And I plan to exploit that to my advantage. Regularly.” She can’t help the blush that warms her face as she remembers the way he woke her up this morning. “Am already, actually.”

“I can’t…support this.”

“I’m not asking you to. I’m asking you to trust me.”

“You’re asking me to trust you when I know how bad this is gonna go. You don’t understand what you’re signing up for.”

“I helped you with Allison, supported you through everything the last few months, and you’re going to pull this shit with me?”

“I know him better than you do, Stiles.”

Stiles jerks up at that because is he fucking serious right now? “Don’t, Scott. You don’t have a fucking leg to stand on in this argument you’re trying to make.” She stops, trying to calm her racing heart. “You left him, dying, in my care so you could enjoy a nice family dinner with Allison. I have harbored him because of you. I went against my better judgment, putting my father and his job at risk, because you promised me he was worth it.”

He starts to say something, but the rage flares inside her chest, breathes and puffs to life within her. Her hand aches from holding the phone so tightly, and she thinks if she were a werewolf right now, she could rip the steering wheel right off. It sounds so tempting, a fulfilling outlet for the anger burning her up.

“Scott, just – don’t call me.” She hits the end call button and tosses the phone into the passenger seat.

-

The training is Stiles’ idea. Lydia helps, all I-dare-you-to-contradict-me reason and logic, and she is the surprise to Stiles. After everything she’s gone through, Lydia finally owning her intelligence, taking her position in the pack, still sort of boggles Stiles’ mind. Apparently a near death experience provides clarity, but Stiles can’t really think too much about that night, even now. Peter had to die, she knows this; he was lost the moment the fire licked to life in the walls of the Hale house. She just wishes it had never come to that, a glaring either/or situation. Yes, they prevailed, but luck had definitely been on their side. She doesn’t want to have to rely on “by the seat of her pants” anymore. She wants preparation and training. The werewolves need their training, and so do the humans.

Stiles can tell Derek wants to argue, can feel his anger butting up against her mind all night, but he stands silently in the background, fuming. His reaction is precisely why she brings it up without telling him beforehand. His eyes never leave her, but she can’t worry about it. She may joke about it, but she knows she’s the most vulnerable. Allison has her archery – she’s actually started keeping her case in the trunk of her car – and Lydia has turned out to be the MacGuyver of explosives. If her dad knew the truth – and she’s starting to get inklings he does, after everything with Peter and Kate – she could probably convince him to give her shooting lessons and more than likely look the other way if she were to carry; she just can’t burst that bubble yet. Even with more of Allison’s relatives showing up, it has been somewhat quiet, and as long as her father is safer not knowing the truth, she will keep him in the dark. The truce is protecting them, but there is always the possibility another pack would show up; try to edge out Derek while he is still a young Alpha.

She isn’t surprised when Derek shows up in her room later that night, his face still just as stormy and something else she can’t quite pinpoint. “I’m the one who protects you,” Derek says, like that’s the end of it. “We’ve trained for this: you get away and you come get me.”

“You aren’t always around, Derek.” She turns back to her computer. “I seriously can’t believe you’re trying to talk me out of this.”

He has her out of her chair, fingers digging into the soft skin of her arms, and his eyes burn red as he towers over her. He pushes her up against the wall, not roughly like he used to, but no less domineering. It’s a turning point for her, because any fear she feels is tempered by the knowledge he will never hurt her. He will get rough and he will dominate her, but she is safe with him. When she meets his gaze, she realizes what that other emotion is, threatening to overtake his anger: fear. Bone-shaking, stomach-twisting fear.

“This is why I didn’t want to do this,” he says, almost like she isn’t even there. “You’re at risk even associating with me, but now – now you’re a target.”

Anger blooms hot and bright inside her, making it hard to breathe or see, and she jabs him in the chest with her finger to emphasize every word. “Derek Hale, if you even try to end this in some altruistic attempt to protect me, I swear to God, I will hurt you.”

He jerks at that, eyes flashing back to green. “I – I’m not that fucking selfless, Stiles. You’re –”

She doesn’t let him finish, all but climbs him, and when he kisses her back, it’s like he’s trying to tell her what he can’t say with words. Knowing he can’t walk away from this either – that if disaster strikes, they are going down together – makes her insides go wobbly.

Arguing now isn’t very different from before they started adding kissing (and other delightful things) to it. It is still just as charged, and he still scares her a little bit, but then she still pushes back long after is technically wise. She has never thought herself the confrontational sort, but going toe-to-toe with Derek on a regular basis has cured her of that notion. Before it used to leave her achy, unable to sit still, and like she needed to down about five extra doses of Adderall. Now she realizes why, which just makes it worse. Sometimes she really has to wonder if she really is all that smart. Like, how oblivious can she be?

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rubykatewriting

June 2012

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